When you give a glance at the school bulletin boards, you might easily find
posters about going overseas to study languages or about exchange students.
Even you were not interested, we become attracted to live overseas and become curious about what outside world would be like, when we see those posters. Then would the foreigners who came to Korea feel the same way? Are they happy living in Korea? Wouldn’t there be any difficulties?
“I just wanted to play an online game with my girlfriend. But I wasn’t able to log in.”Jeff Morphy said, a Canadian who teaches English in Cheonan campus. He tried to sign up a game web site to play games, but when he came to join, he was confused because the steps for foreigners were quite complicated to follow. He had to fax some documents to the main office, and this took a long time to finish it. What is more, Jeff had to face another problem when the process was over. At this point, he was feeling so tired that he couldn’t enjoy the game.
Somehow, these kind of problems aren’t limited to just this site. Preparing
for class is also a hard job, too. Because online communities are only for members, but they can’t join in. So, when he needs to print some papers from those communities, it brings inconveniences. “I can’t log in with my foreign ID numbers. I have to ask my friends to help me about class information and even print some documents,”said Noemi Anci Parade (Dept of Law, senior), an exchange student from Peru. In this way, we can see foreigners having a hard time log in to any web sit. Do they have to feel that they are strangers even in the
world wide web?
Still, the biggest difficulty is‘ communication.’ Foreigners feel frustrated as
communication cannot proceed because of the language barrier. Angella Eun
Cho(Dept of English, freshman) is an overseas Korean. She said “When I talk
in Korean, people may think that I am really good at Korean even though I
lived overseas for a long time. Sometimes I can’t understand what others say,
but I pretend to understand because I worry that people feel awkward to have
a conversation with me.”Irene Martinez, also exchange student from Peru (Dept in
Law, senior) says “When dealing with administrative tasks or public affairs, talking in English is hard. When I went to the dentist, I couldn’t get the right treatments because it wasn’t easy to communicate with the doctor.”Do they deserve these inconveniences, just because they are foreigners?
How can we approach such matters that foreigners face? When we look around, there are many efforts that we made to help foreigners, such as road signs written in English, counseling centers for foreigners, and so on. Despite these efforts, steps to provide more care and attention for them are required . All the participants said “In spite of some inconveniences, thanks to our friend’s help, we can manage our lives.”The only key to break the barrier between us and them is our care and attention. For now, we look forward to the day when foreigners can communicate and breathe within our culture to come.
Eun-Hyun Hwang, So-Yeon Kim firstname.lastname@example.org